I like what I like.

Recently, last weekend that is, I found out about One Direction. I know I come very late to the party, like 5 years late, but that doesn’t mean I don’t join in on all the fun. At first I thought it was a cooked up boy band, I did not know they where put together during X-Factor in 2010 and I for sure didn’t know who they were. You can never know a person for what you’ve seen online and on screen but after “researching” (a.k.a. YouTubbing) a bunch of video’s, their backstory (their movie This is Us), their X-Factor performances and their concerts now I can see what all the “fuss” is about. I’ve seen these boys grow up 5 years in the 3 days I’ve been exploring them and what I’ve seen is pretty incredible. Their music is happy and catchy and it just makes me feel good, what music is supposed to feel like 🙂

From what I’ve seen these boys are still grounded, genuine, honest, truly grateful for what they have, amazing performers, artists and real human beings. They are also completely mad and insane, but that’s what I love even more, that they’re completely themselves. Mainly I’m talking about Harry Styles, I don’t know if it’s because there’s so many more video’s on him I found or just because he looks great, or just how he is, but he’s way too precious for this world. Look at the video below, created by 1DIRECTION VIDEOS:

He doesn’t care what people think, he is honest and he truly cares what’s going on around him. He loves to interact with his fans and I know I haven’t been to many concerts, but I know this is special. I can feel it when I look at these video’s, there’s too many to add so I am not going to add a lot but some of the video’s I’m adding mean the world to me and maybe for you too. Like this one, one amazing compilation about Harry Styles, created by SofyJDrew:

I love people who are sincere, honest, grateful for what they have and are completely themselves. Whether they’re actors, like Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, or the boys from One Direction, a “boy” band. It doesn’t matter to me who you are, what does matter is how you are and the way you make me feel and that’s why I love the people I love.

Here’s a part of a Jared and Jensen panel from a couple of weeks ago, they’re talking about meeting fans and what to do when we see them out and about and don’t know if you can walk up and come to talk to them, video is from shawesum and the best part of the answer, at least for me, starts at 5 minutes:

People judge too much and that’s why other people can’t be themselves or are afraid to anyways and that’s a shame cause these people are amazing and if everyone would be more like them, the world would be a better place.

Some people think I’m crazy or weird for supporting either Jared and Jensen (from the C.W.’s show Supernatural) or One Direction, but you know what? This is my life, deal with it, or get out. I love what I love and I don’t need to explain or find a reason why. I know deep down it’s for a reason why I love the things I love and the amazing people I’ve described above deserve everything good that’s coming to them because they are good people and that’s what matters. None of them ever thought “I want to be famous”, NO they just wanted to create, music, television, whatever, they wanted to tell stories and inspire people. Well they’ve inspired me and they keep inspiring me.. Because of them I want to be a better person, want to change, no I say that wrong, I want to become more myself and if you can make people realise that, unintentionally, than you are an incredible human being in my book.

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Going on an adventure? Trust your instinct.

 CharlieBrown-LifeIsFullOfSurprises2

So 5 november I got a message through my MeetUp account from a photographer. He told me I would be eligible to model for him, he might be able to recommend me to others. First I was like whoa! Than I thought: okay but why me, what does it entail and what’s next? There wasn’t any other information about him in the message so I asked him where I could find information about him, his website and all that and what the meeting/ try out would entail. I got a message back with some information and it was all without any commitments, the information from the website looked okay. So I messaged him it was okay to meet and that I would try it out.

I’ve never really thought about modelling, didn’t know if it would be something for me, but this was a nice try to find out I thought. The funny thing was that that Monday of the first message my skin acted up and I was like: Yeah sure, why not now 🙂 But that was okay, I had it somewhat under control and I thought: Photoshop was not created for nothing 😛 So I didn’t pay to much attention to it. If I wasn’t good enough with how I looked, that was not my problem, it was his.

IntuitionByEinstein

Feelings are over rated ….. or not?

On Friday he gave me a call if the meeting would still happen and I said yes. The moment I hung up though, my feelings where really weird. I got nervous or my intuition was telling me something else. I told myself it was just nerves, cause this came completely out of the blue and I didn’t know what to expect. I went to bed and slept good. The morning of the shoot I woke up with huge uncertainty in my gut. My mind kept telling my body to shut up, because it might’ve been just nerves for the unknown. I talked to my friend about it and she told me (what I already decided) to just feel it out, if it didn’t feel good I could just go back home, no strings attached, no consequences. I would just go in there for the experience, go on another adventure. I knew either choice would be fine, it would be my choice to go or not to go and it would be all good.

I wanted to know what the feeling was though: was it my gut trying to tell me something or was it just my insecurity?

My mind went back to the time I didn’t want to go to the last acting class I took. I was so nervous to make that decision, I didn’t want to go at all, but I didn’t want to look like a failure. In the end I made the choice just for me, not for anybody else, I made the decision not to go for me and the moment I did the feelings where gone and I didn’t think about it anymore after that.

So I decided to go and feel it out. My other friend told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to and if it didn’t feel right. And I told her I would be okay, I’d just feel out the situation and than just stick to my feeling and not doing things I don’t want to.

TrustYourIntuition

The day itself

So we met up in a coffee shop in a hotel. He told me some bits and pieces and gave me some advice. He told me something about where he was coming from. He used to be an actor in Hollywood and does a lot of photograph. If you get a recommendation from him, that apparently says a lot. He told me I could probably get project as background, military (cause my short hair) and business. He told me my skin might be a problem and he wanted to give me some advice, and I told him I tried anything and it gets better and worse sometimes. Then he kept saying that a reference from him would mean a lot, and that other people who take great pictures don’t know the business like he does. And I just sat there and knotted at him. Didn’t have any questions, I just went with the flow.

He told me that just because I’m new he wouldn’t shoot in a studio cause he doesn’t know if I’d do good or show up or something. And I said okay, didn’t expect that, but he should know right?

I told him about the 4th wall when he told me not to look into the camera. And than he’s like: it’s the 3rd wall actually. And he was impressed I knew that. But I he’s still wrong. It’s the 4th wall, cause you know Jim Michaels Tweeted that and I remember that 🙂 So yeah I got him on that one, and I knew I was right, but just let him believe it was the 3rd.

We went outside to take some picture and even though it rained it was pretty okay. I did what he asked, looked and posed how he wanted (mostly just smiled and that was good). He told me I did good, so that was okay. After a bit we went back inside. I changed in some business looking clothes and we shot some pics inside the hotel. There where some people looking, but for the first time ever I didn’t mind, so YAY! I just posed and smiled and followed his directions. And after a bit we were done.

He told me I could change into an other outfit or we could go check out the photo’s. I followed my instinct and said “looking at the pictures is fine for me”. Than we sat down, looking at the pictures. We went through the pics and there where only a few I liked. Mostly cause of the lighting that made my skin look very bad, even worse than it really is. A few of the pics where really out of focus and I was surprised by that. I’ve had a fashion photo shoot a couple of years back and even though a lot of those pictures didn’t turn out the way I liked, they where all of amazing quality.

And there it was ………… surprise-logo

He than told me that if I wanted to do this, I could (of course) go for his special discount package. I’d get a recommendation, all the photo’s, a couple of photoshopped ones, and unlimited time of being showed on his website. And the difference between others and him was that he was well known and that the pics he takes were really great and not shot with a compact camera. And his package deal was only 550 euros. And I was like “Woah, I have to think about that” and that threw him off. He said he was a great judge of character and he could pick up on that and thought I’d say yes in a second. Hahaha guess he didn’t read me that well than, did he 🙂

Than he asked if I had my ATM card and he asked me what I was willing to pay and that he could see what he could do for me now. And I’m like “Well my ATM card is empty, I don’t have any money” and than he asked me if I had cash on me and I said no. And that was pretty disappointing for him, cause I know he knew I’d pay him.

Beforehand we never discussed any payments or any plans for that matter. This was just an audition to see if he could use me as a model for some of his projects and for others to look me up. And to see if I liked it, so this threw me off a bit too. But I also knew it was coming, and that’s what my gut was telling me that day and the night of the phone call. It told me something was up, and it was correct.

Intuition

I told him I have to think about it and he said okay, but the price will go up because he has to keep the pictures for a while and I said I understood. At that moment I already decided I didn’t want any of it, but I wanted to have some time to think about what just happened. I think I knew while we finished up the second shoot, cause if I really wanted to do it I’d go for an other outfit.

Duh Things that I noticed

A couple of things I noticed, but just realised while typing this down. Most of the pictures where okay but they where not stunning or so amazing that I wanted to have them anyway. I have amazing talented friend who could take better and more beautiful photo’s than the ones I saw from him.

Also his laptop wasn’t clean. I don’t know, but if I’m professional and I show people my laptop or something else I want it to look good. My screen is completely clear and his wasn’t. I expected a MAC, but he had a “simple” laptop, maybe that’s personal as well, but I know MAC’s are the best for visual editing, whether it’s photo’s or video.

He was a bit too full of himself. Which is okay, but it doesn’t impress me. I don’t care for status and having a lot of money or any of that so when he kept saying he was the best and he didn’t want to brag but it was the truth I just kept looking at him and say “okay” and thinking “whatever dude, I don’t care” hahaha. He kept telling the same over and over again and it felt (looking back) to rehearsed. If you want to impress me, than at least take amazing pictures and have a great pitch for me. And tell me beforehand that there might be money involved. Not at the last minute cause than it’s a waste of both of our times. You put effort in to impress and sell me something, which won’t happen, and I’ll be just like “well I ain’t gonna pay for this, this was an audition just to see what it was and that’s just it”.

His website wasn’t a real website. It was not a ….photography.com or something, neither is his e-mail, that was hotmail.com. If I was a professional I would have a professional website with a unique e-mail address, not a hotmail of a gmail account. But that might be personal.

BadVibes

What I noticed about me during this whole experience is that I can count on my intuition. I can just go with the flow and my body will tell me what’s going on. I also notice that I didn’t care if anyone was looking while we took the pictures, so that was new one for me. I was aware of what I was doing and it felt maybe a little awkward sometimes (you know with posing, leaning towards the camera and sucking in that tummy and all that 🙂 ) but I felt confident just standing there. Holding a pose is much more difficult though but I think I did fine. I don’t want to do this anyway, so it was a good experience to try. I’m proud that I went and took on this adventure. I changed by doing that for the better and I know what I want and I know my limits and I’m not doing anything I don’t want to do or feel uncomfortable with.

So all in all it was a good experience, I have no regret, I’m glad I went there and just let it wash over me, search out what and where my feelings where and came from. And now I’ve learned something new, I can really trust my gut and these feelings don’t come along often. I know I can handle myself and I’m proud that I am that way. No one can change my mind and no one can make me feel less than I am. That power is in my hands and I know that now. The only person who can make me feel bad is myself and I choose not too.

So if you ever have a feeling in your gut and don’t know what to do with it, you can do what I did, check out what it means but be prepared for something unexpected. You can also stop what you’re doing, cancel what you had for plans and just accept that your intuition is right and you can trust it.

Acting = Scary? WHY???

As you know last Wednesday I had my first (out of eight) acting class. I wrote about how terrified I was during the class and that it was so nerve wrecking. As you can read in my post about that or the post the day after I wrote about my thoughts on the process.

I also talked to a few other colleagues and one of them said to me: “Why can’t you show other people what a great person you are? What is it that holds you back?” I can’t tell you that.

The rest of the week, until I think yesterday I was nervous every time I was thinking about acting. And than I thought “STOP IT!” I shouldn’t be afraid to act. I don’t know why I am afraid. Maybe it’s because deep down I don’t want to disappoint myself or other people Or maybe because I don’t want to make a fool out of my self, I’m embarrassed or something. I don’t know, but that is not the point. The point is that I signed up for this class to have fun, to learn how to entertain people, to learn how to portray someone other then myself. It doesn’t have to do anything about fear, I know there might be some exercises I’d rather not do, but I just want to have fun. I want to be creative, I want to come with a brilliant way to explain why someone needs to play tennis and not just 2 sentences and than go blank. I want my brain to take over and really get into the character that I am trying to portray. I might not be able to improvise as much as other people can, but that is because (for now at least) I feel like I need to know what I have to say, or at least have some sort of script. But that can change too, maybe in the end I love to improvise and be better at it.

I’ve been thinking about that and I’ve been trying to feel comfortable, I’ve been trying to Neuro Linguistic Program myself a bit and I think it’ll work. I have a tattoo on my shoulder which states: “No FEAR”, so why am I afraid. I have no idea. It might be because of the things I wrote down above, or it might be something completely else. The thing is that it shouldn’t matter.

I know I have this gift called HSP (Highly Sensitive Personality) which makes me able to feel other peoples feelings and understand what they go through, even if I haven’t experienced this myself. So again: why am I afraid for the acting class. Maybe I just felt all the nerves from everyone in the room, or it might be completely me. The thing is: I DIDNT LIKE IT! And I don’t want to feel like that anymore, it was exhausting and not fun at all, to feel sooooooo tense for 3 hours during the class and almost 2 hours after.

An other thing is that I did GISHWES last year and I had a photo taken of me in a tea bag bikini, and I didn’t mind that. That turned out great and I even presented the photo’s to my colleagues, so come to think about that it really isn’t realistic for me to be scared of acting or to be in front of a group. Especially when it’s a safe environment where everyone respects each other and wants the same thing I want: to ACT and learn how to be a different character/ person.

So I have decided that at the beginning of Wednesdays class I’ll ask if I can have a few minutes and than I’ll try to explain what happened last week and why I am there. I am there for the FUN not for the FEAR and I know it might get hard, but I also I will be able to act and perform in front of a group without being tense of fear for the whole time.

And that’s all folks 😉

G’night! ❤

 

The day after: acting class 1/8

Yesterday I had my first acting class which was pretty intense. If you’re interested in that story please check it out and let me know what you think. I was home late, made myself ready for bed and took my laptop with me so I could write down my experience.

Normally I feel weird about opening up this much in a group. I feel like people look at my funny and that it’s nonsense what I feel and how I act. Yesterday I didn’t, I felt secure in the group and could really look at people when I did the assignments, so that’s a big YAY for me 😀 And come to think about it i really looked people in the eye, which I also think is very scary in the beginning. I really looked at them and they looked at me fully understanding/ respecting and making me feel safe. That is looking back I think the biggest thing I think happened yesterday.

When I woke up this morning woke up kinda middle in a dream. That (those) dreams where so vivid that I had to write them down. I like writing down the things I dream about so I can reflect on what happens to me at night and how I feel when I wake up. Most of my dreams are private, but some I post here as well. But I just got sidetracked so back to what I was going to write down.

I woke up, got dressed and commuted to work by bus. Because my dream was so intense I wrote it down while commuting. When I did an other dream from a couple of days ago popped up in my head and I wrote that one down as well. I had the time to do that all in the hour I was commuting and it feels good to write about that. When I was at work I arranged the coffee and tea for the invigilators who were helping with exams this week. One of my colleagues (a teacher) came in to the room and when I was started walking away I told him I had my first acting class yesterday and I was still a bit shaken up about it. We talked about what acting is and why I started to act. I told him I knew it would be terrifying but that I needed it for myself, to grow break out of that shell. We talked about that we have to do some scary things when we are driven to accomplish something (it’s called being ambitious I just remembered). We all have dreams and if we want to make them real there are things we have to do that scared the hell out of us. I told him that I told the group that I said it was scary to stand there and that I showed my vulnerability and he said that was amazing. He asked if I think about what other people think of me, and I told them I used to but that is a lot less now. It’s still there and it probably won’t go away completely but that’s okay. Than we talked about the need for control, the need to know what we want to talk about and about the “blankness” I had when it was my turn on stage. That I couldn’t tell someone she had to play tennis in Arabic, cause I can’t talk Arabic (which totally isn’t the point in acting ;)). He told me that’s why I’m such a good back office person, cause there I have control and do what is necessary, think ahead and know what’s expected. So thank you for the compliment good sir 😉

We had some conversation about what improvisation is and that I thought that was very hard. My mind went blank and I couldn’t come up with stuff on stage. He told me that every dialogue people have is improvisation, cause you always react on other people and you never know what other people say and how they will react. I thought that was a very good point he made and I never really thought about it that way.

Than he also said that if I could and was willing to I could practice at work to. That I could easily tell one of my colleagues I go out of the room, come back in, be pissed as hell and create an argument with that person. He named someone and told me she would play along and that it would be cool to do. He also told me he could be my test person and I told him I would, but not just yet. So we made an agreement that I would do that after the sixth class. Which kind off freaks me out right now, but I know I will be able to do it. I told him I would come in his office unexpected and be so upset (angry or something else) and start screaming and yelling at him, so I know it’s going to be fun.

What I also said to him is that I wrote down what I experienced yesterday and he said that is a good thing. Talking and writing about it are the best ways to process experiences and looking back on them. So again it’s been a great experience and I can’t wait to see what next week has in store for me. I’m still a little woozy in my gut, but that might also be the antibiotics I’m taking at the moment 😉

 

A random act of kindness makes a difference

I had this plan for a couple of weeks to write down all my fears, doubts, troubles and everything else I wanted to let go off. I suggested something like this to a couple of my friends and a few days ago I was lying in my bed and thought it was about time to do so myself. I wrote a lot of stuff down that I wanted to let go. On a different piece of paper  I wrote down what I wanted to let in.

Yesterday I went to a lake about 15 minutes from my house, I took my bike, and sat there for more than 1 hour just waiting for the right time to burn these pieces of paper. While sitting there other thought came to me and I wrote that down too.

While sitting and looking over the lake I kinda felt sad. I dunno why, probably because letting got of things is hard, but I just let me feel it. People where walking by and said hello, and I said hello back.

Than something amazing happened. I already said hello to this guy who walked the pier with his son. On their way back, I was eating an apple at that time, we said hello again and he asked “Is it tasty”, and I replied “Yes it is very tasty thank you”,  he said “Good” and they walked off. I don’t know why but I suddenly felt sad, it was such an amazing feeling, such an small act of kindness. I needed that and that felt good.

On my way back home (I still hadn’t burned the pages, cause I felt like I was going to get caught when people were seeing that… I did that later at home though) on my bike I passes an other biker and he smiled and said “Hello” first. Now normally I’m the one who’ll smile and say Hello to a person I pass by, this time I didn’t but someone else did and also that felt good!

The thought I immediately had was: That’s normally me! I normally say hello first, what if I passed someone in the past and brightened their day while just saying hello and smiled at them. That was an overwhelming feeling, I can tell you that. Definitely a good feeling too.

 

I felt so humbled about these little acts of kindness and felt like I had to write about it. This is really something I wanted to share with whomever just to show that how little the act may be people need them and people are so grateful when you give it to them. Just a simple hello can change someone’s day, for the better.

So keep in mind: be nice, be humble, say hello and just smile. Make another person’s day a good one just because you are you and you are kind!

The magic of #GISHWHES

Last week was the third GISHWHES hunt and I participated. It was grazy, hilarious, freaking stressful (at times) but so much FUN 😀

GISHWHES means Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World has Ever Seen (www.gishwhes.com, @whatsgishwhes). It’s a scavenger hunt created by Misha Collins (actor (currently Castiel in Supernatural), CEO of Random Acts of Kindness organization). He wants to create some chaos in the world but most of all he wants people to have fun, use their creativity and crawl out of their daily rituals/ shells and do something completely different. Therefor he invented GISHWHES. It’s international so all teams (15 people per team across the globe) are scattered around the planet. They try to create random teams of people from all over, that’s what makes it great. You can sign up alone or with other people.

When the hunt starts there’s a list that’s getting published for all the teams. When you browse through the item list you sign up for all these things you think you can do. And than the next they you’re freaking out cause it’s sooooo much and you have no idea how to work it all out. After day 2 though you’re on a roll and you’re just having fun and start to create your items. And that’s when the real fun begins 😉

Some people think it’s ridiculous to participate in something like this, but let’s face it: it’s so much fun 😀 It’s not only because it’s fun to do this, but you also help people. You help people get over certain lines they otherwise won’t cross and they really want to. You can get people out of their shell and that’s one of perks off being in a team. People grow in GISHWHES and people let go of the shame on certain items. Like me, I never ever thought I’d like to pose in a photo wearing weird clothes. Now I posed in a wallpaper & plastic outfit and a tea bag swimsuit!

IMG_4177Tea bag swimsuit

And guess what: I couldn’t care less 😀 I presented my funny stuff to my colleagues the other day, and I wasn’t ashamed or nervous. I told them I thought it was a great cause (get out of your comfort zone and just break free!) and it still feels that way.

We also had to take a picture in a team uniform. As we all live across the world we had to decide what to wear and take a photo. We decided to wear a white shirt, a pan hat and an aluminum foil skirt over jeans. So that’s what we did. And although we all wear it differently it looks great!

Ilse

Another task I did was making a quilt of dirty old socks. In the beginning I had no clue how to do that but it looked like a fun project so I took it on. I went to all my family member and a couple of neighbors and had loads of socks to quilt. I didn’t know how to put them together so my colleague told me to staple them. I did and that worked a bit. I just more than 1000 staples and when I pulled the quilt of the ground they let loose. I decided to sow them together row by row from the back and that worked quite well 😉 It also was so much fun and quite relaxing 😉 I had Supernatural (what else) on at the background and just sowed. When  was almost finished I came up with another idea, I had enough socks left to “write” a G (of Gishwhes) and a ’13 (of 2013) on the front And it turned out exactly as I pictures. Than it was time to crawl up under it and let it look like it was cozy (that was the assignment). My friend came up with the idea of me looking sick and was just lying on the couch under a comfy blanked. So that’s what we did.

IMG_4227

I had so much fun doing all of this and I learned something more about myself also. GISHWHES is great to get to know yourself better. I signed up for a couple of things and later I thought “Oh no way I’m going to do that!!” and than you start to think why you won’t want to do that. Is it fear? Probably! Why fear? Probably because you think that the people who you’ll need for that assignment think your crazy (so you’re trying to think for someone else, which is NEVER EVER a good thing 😉 ), but who cares. If you walk up and explain it in a funny way and you’re really convinced that they’ll help you and that it’s going to be fun, they will help you. They will feel you’re positivity and your enthusiasm so you’ll drag them into that and it’s going to be fun!

I’m definitely signing up next year and I’m sure I can do loads more than. I already have some things I want to work on this year so I’m more prepared for next year, as prepared you can be for GISHWHES that is 😉 Not only as  preparation, but also because I really like to do these things and I love being creative.

– drawing things, people, faces etc. (I like it but do it not enough to be good at it)

– painting (I like to get creative and I like it, but don’t do it enough)

– crocheting, cause it’s fun and relaxing!

– planning parties (cause, why the hell not right 😉 )

– starting conversations with complete strangers (because that’s always a good exercise and it’ll be fun 😀 )

I’m not using my creative side enough. I think everybody is creative and while you’re doing GISHWHES you’ll find out how much you can do and how funny your brain works in putting it all together. You can create what’s in your mind and that’s MAGICAL 😀

The teamwork is also pretty important. The team will help you get through the hard parts and they keep you sane. When you’ve got too much on your plate and have to skip items and you’re freaking out they just tell you: Don’t worry! HAVE FUN! Cause that’s the biggest part of GISHWHES and what they want you to accomplish, just have fun and leave you’re comfort zone and see what you can accomplish in a week. And that is a LOT!!!!!

Our team video will give you a little impression about what we did and what people felt like. It’s not the whole team, but there’s time limits and these where the only video’s that we had. Turned out quite great though!

I think everyone who likes to act crazy once a while should definitely sign up for GISHWHES at least once in their lifetime, hell I think everybody should participate in this hunt even if it’s just once 😀

Thank you Misha for setting up GISHWHES, thank you Jean Louis for keeping Misha in check and thank you to my great team and friends who helped me get through this abnosome week!

Much ❤ and I can’t wait for next year

The amazing world of @CouchSurfing

I’ve been thinking about writing a new post for a few days, I’ve been wanting to write something about CouchSurfing and while I’ve been awake for the last 45 minutes I thought this is as good time as ever to write it down (maybe I’ll even be able to sleep after I’ve got this out of my mind 😉 )

What is CouchSurfing exactly? A lot of people, and also travelers, don’t know about CouchSurfing. It’s a shame cause it really is a good way to travel on a low budget and meeting amazing people. CouchSurfing is an online community where people can share their couch to travelers who need a place to stay. Some people only have a couch for the surfers, others have real beds/ air beds or couches that can turn into beds. Surfers can put in a request to surf on your couch and you have every ability to accept or decline any request you get. You, as a host, can set boundaries (the time they can be in your house, what time they have to leave, what’s to be expected of the surfers, what surfers can or can’t expect from you) and surfers have to abide by them.

Surfers and hosts can, and most of them do, leave references for the hosts/ surfers. This is a great tool to see who is reliable to surf your couch or who is reliable as a host. Hosts and surfers can both be verified and get their identity checked. As a host you can state that surfers have to be verified and checked out by the CouchSurf community (which is easy, but you have to put in a little bit of time to do so)

Some surfers give you something (something from their own country) or do you some favors, some cook, some clean, some do the dishes. Some hosts cook for their guests, some will provide them with drinks or food, others don’t. It’s all open to the host and surfer, which makes it exciting and also different everywhere you surf or whomever you host.

I’ve been hosting since 2008 and this year I’ve got a lot of requests and I’m hosting quite a few people/ groups. I like to give the surfers a place to call “home” when they are away. A safe and comfortable place to just relax and hang out after a long day (of travel, hanging out in the city). I think I’m a good host and I love to meet people all around the world.

The people I pick or accept are the people who I immediately feel connected with, right away from the first message they sent me. I love it when people refer to my profile, so I can see that they’ve really read my profile and know what they can expect when surfing with me. I for instance don’t accept people who are not verified and have no references at all. I can make exceptions, but I rarely do. This is because when I first signed up with CS I thought it was really important for me to show the community I was trustworthy and reliable, so I verified immediately and had my address checked right away. I didn’t even had requests for my couch or feedback, I just thought “If I want to host reliable people, I have to be reliable from the start”.

I’ve never had a bad experience with surfers before. I’ve had some people stay over that I haven’t felt too connected with, but for the most part I did. I also have more experience picking the right people to stay over with me, I can feel a lot more from the way people approach me through a request and when I see their profile I know I am a good fit 😀

My experiences with surfing is none. I haven’t surfed yet. The places where I go to are mostly my international friends and I haven’t needed a place to surf at yet. But if I need to, and I will someday, I am curious where I’ll end up with. The good thing about me having so many surfers here now is that I’m building my own CS network and I know I am welcome to anyone who’s ever surfed my couch, so I probably won’t need a lot of “new” places to surf at 😛

If you are planning a trip and are on a low budget I’d advice to check out CouchSurfing (www.couchsurfing.org). It’s free to sign up, and it’s also free to get verified (or at least it was when I signed up). Check it out! You could also post on the main page that you’re looking for a place to stay and hosts that are available can contact you directly. There’s also events planned for CouchSurfers in big cities and hosts can change their status in “No Couch Available”, “I can hang out”, “Couch Available”, “Traveling”, so you know exactly what to expect from a host!

So again, have a look in the amazing world that’s called CouchSurfing and you’re trips will be even better 😀 Have fun surfing and/ or hosting!!!